The Qchord is a fun and motivating instrument. It is easy to use and can be adapted to all ability levels. This past week we were using it in our groups to work on turn taking and fine motor skills. Waiting for a turn is especially difficult with a “motivating” instrument like the Qchord, but we’ve been working hard on building this skill over the last few weeks. I’m so proud of the class that is highlighted in these videos! When they began music therapy back in August, waiting for a turn to take an instrument for a group activity or for someone to make a choice for a movement song proved to be too difficult. If they saw an instrument they wanted to play, they would jump out of their seats and run over to it. To help them out I would give them a bright orange “wait” sign and make it seem like it was the best thing ever!
Their hard work is paying off because they were all able to wait for their turn with the Q-chord! To help them be successful with this skill, I not only had “wait” signs ready, but chose a familiar song that included actions. “The Wheels on the Bus” song is good for a turn taking activity because the other students are engaged in movement while they wait. It’s also important to involve staff members who work alongside students, if necessary, as they are working towards their goals. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with an awesome team at this school which has greatly benefited the students.
To encourage the students to focus on the area to be touched while playing, I’ve placed a white covering with a hole over part of the Q-chord . This was designed a few years ago by a teacher I work with, when we found the push buttons on the instrument to be too distracting. At times, you may notice me taking a student’s hand and holding it when they play. Most times this was to demonstrate to the student that they needed to put more pressure on the strumming area in order to create a sound. Other times it was to help guide them in where they were playing.
The students ended up having a great time playing and waiting for their turns with the fabulous Q-chord.